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My first encounter with the Jamaican coconut tart Gizzada, was in back in the 90s when I had a walkman permanently attached to my ears with reggae tunes pumping.  I remember reggae artist Merciless singing “mi ah di gal dem gizzada.”  Huh???  What exactly is he referring to?  What the h*ck is a gizzada?

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Coconut Tart-1-4Having just migrated from Guyana, I had but one encounter with a Jamaican much less to be familiar with their lingo.   Fast forward to 20 years later, I have met many Jamaicans along the way, some have remained lifelong friends and I even married one.   Needless to say my knowledge on all things Jamaican has grown tremendously over the years; the food and slangs are no longer puzzling.   My husband gave me my first gizzada, I wasn’t too excited because it wasn’t the prettiest but I gave it a try and boy was it tasty!  The sweet coconut filling had hints of nutmeg and vanilla but I wasn’t too fond of the crust.Jamaican Coconut Tart-1-8 The flavors were phenomenal, I just thought the crust needed to be mellower and the fill should be a bit gooier. A light bulb went off in my head – what’s more gooey than the filling for pecan pie?  Now let’s get this straight, I actually don’t eat pecans but I make a version using walnuts instead. So I whipped up a brown sugar filling that would become gooey after baking.   I also used a pastry that simply melts in your mouth.   I definitely enjoy these tarts.   These sweet, buttery coconut tarts are the ultimate dessert.   Love!  I hope you enjoy!

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Jamaican Coconut Tart



adapted from Le Cordon Bleu Dessert Techniques

1 2/3 cup flour

¼ cup sugar

1 stick cold butter( ½ cup butter)

2 egg yolks

6 tsp cold water



1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

1/8 tsp grated nutmeg

2 cups coconut flakes

2 tbsp melted butter

Pinch of salt

To make the pastry: In a small bowl mix the flour and sugar together.  Cut butter into small chunks then cut into flour using a fork or pastry cutter until it resembles coarse cornmeal.   Next add egg yolks and water and mix to for the pastry.   Once pastry comes together, flatten into a disk, wrap with cling wrap and refrigerate for ½ hour.

To make the filling:  Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork to combine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove pastry from the fridge and on a floured surface, roll to 1/8 of an inch thickness.   Using a biscuit cutter (or wide mouth glass) cut into 4-5 inch circles.   Line a muffin pan with the pastry circles.   Place the muffin pan into the oven and bake for 7 minutes.  Remove from oven then fill each pastry shell with until it’s about ¾ way filled.  Return to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.   Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.  Cool completely before serving.


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